Listing of Historic Resources- Spring 2022 Update

Written by: Colleen Haukaas, Archaeological Survey

From the Alberta government’s Historic Resources Management Branch, the Spring 2022 edition of the Listing of Historic Resources is now available. The Listing is a geospatial product showing lands that are known to contain or likely to contain historic resources (i.e. archaeological sites, historic sites, palaeontological sites, Indigenous heritage sites) in Alberta. The Listing is designed to be used by developers, land agents and other professionals in the cultural resources professional sphere. Publishing the Listing allows us to more quickly communicate concerns about historic resources on the landscape, while also protecting some of the confidentiality of historic resource sites. Even though the Listing is targeted for professionals, anyone can access it. A new edition of the Listing each year in the spring and fall.

Categories used in notations in the Listing of Historic Resources.

About the Listing

It’s important to note that a single parcel of land may have more than one category of concern. For example, parcels at Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Provincial Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site include notations of Indigenous heritage, archaeology, palaeontology and history, reflecting the intersections of natural and cultural heritage that make the area so significant to Alberta.

Each land parcel in the Listing is also assigned a value ranging from 1 to 5. The following table contains descriptions and instructions for developers of land-based projects.

Value Description
1Contains a World Heritage site or a site designated under the Historical Resources Act as a Provincial Historic Resource
2Deactivated (formerly used to designate a Registered Historic Resource)
3Contains a significant historic resource that will likely require avoidance
4Contains a historic resource that may require avoidance
5High potential to contain a historic resource
Values used in the Listing of Historic Resources.

As with category notations, a single parcel of land may be given multiple value notations if there are multiple historic resources within the same parcel of land. At Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi, there are value notations of 1, 3, 4, and 5. However, most areas are not so complex.

View of Milk River valley at Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Provincial Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lands in this this area have been used by humans for thousands of years. The lands have notations in the Listing of Historic Places including categories of Indigenous heritage, archaeology, palaeontology, and history and values of 1-5. Source: Archaeology permit report 15-084, copyright Government of Alberta.

Technology behind the Listing of Historic Resources

For each edition of the Listing, staff pull together data from several offices and update it with new information from researchers and professionals working in the cultural resources management field. The Listing is a geospatial product, meaning that the notations are associated with specific locations. For the Listing, we use the Legal Subdivisions (LSDs) as part of the Alberta Township Survey system. Using LSDs as the location for land parcels on the Listing affords protection to sensitive historic resources. Within the Listing, the specific location of a historic resource site is not published. Instead, any LSD intersecting the site is given the notation.

To generate and manage the Listing, we current use geospatial programs Safe Software FME Desktop and ESRI ArcGIS.

Publishing the Listing of Historic Resources

This winter the Government of Alberta launched the Alberta Geospatial Services Platform (AGSP) as an interface to the government’s geospatial data. Members of the public may use this platform to access certain spatial data resources (e.g. shapefiles, feature classes, maps). The Listing webmap is now available to the public through AGSP.

An example view of the Listing of Historic Resources webmap at Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi Provincial Park. In the webmap, users can search for legal lands or addresses, upload shapefiles, draw, annotate, or buffer on the map, and export maps and reports.

Further information about the Listing, instructions for how to use the Listing with a development project, the Listing in downloadable formats are all available on our website.

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